I tried to see if I could shoehorn the reactions from the hard left I
was seeing into the standard "5 stages of grief" that most people are
familiar with (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). No,
it wasn't quite working (especially with the lack of "bargaining").
They've come up with their own stages, it seems.
First did come Denial. This is what first led me to try this
experiment. To be fair, a lot of fault for this can be placed onto the
terribly skewed exit polling data that seems to have been leaked early.
And all the mainstream news outlets use the same company for their exit
polling, so they all came up with the same numbers. "Let's just wait
for all the votes to be counted," the Democrats said when the actual
precincts started reporting in and things looked good for Bush. "How
could W carry Ohio? Inconceivable!" Some are still in this stage.
I think what I saw following denial was mainly Depression. People
dazed and shocked, saying how sad they were and how much they wanted to
cry. Or at least move to Canada. This stage appeared to actually be
Next comes Blame, smashing through depression rather quickly. The
great thing about this stage is how scattershot different Democrats have
been in assigning blame:
"It's Kerry's fault, because he wasn't a good candidate. Yeah, I never
really liked him to begin with. He didn't listen to his advisors. He
really did flip-flop a lot. You could never know where he stood on a
position. He said different things to different people."
"Kerry lost because of his campaign managers. They were incompetent.
Bush ran a much better campaign."
"You can blame this all on the Republicans for brainwashing people into
believing all their nonsense. Kerry is a saint, but those damn Bushies
made up all these lies and they're responsible for this travesty."
"Those Swift Boat veterans did this. It's all their fault."
"Those red-state voters have ruined our country."
Then there's the Anger. Oh boy, is there the anger. For example, read
rant from a London "news site". Or this recent
"protest". Or this other
recent protest. Or this site, which is not too fond
of southern states (conveniently ignoring both the non-southern states
that backed Bush and plenty of facts that counter his points). Or any
of the savage diatrabes delivered wherever the hard left gathers en
masse. "Red-necked racist bigots." "Ignorant homophobes." "Retarded
religious fundamentalist hicks." Apparently you can't vote for Bush
unless you are, in some manner, mentally defective or fascist. A vote
for Bush (apparently) means you hate blacks, that you hate gays, that
you hate poor people, that you want to kill abortionists. Ah, so
this is the famous leftist tolerance I'd heard so much about!
(I guess everyone should cut them some slack; the wounds are still raw.
But I don't have a lot of patience for idiocy. More Democrats backed
Bush (11%) than Republicans backed Kerry (6%). Those Bush voters who
considered "Moral Values" the most important issue made up only 17.6% of
voters and even this encompasses a wide range of issues.)
Some have already started on the Accusations. "The voting machines
were rigged." "Voter intimidation! Disenfranchisement!" "They did it
again. They stole another election." In fact, there is growing
discussion over voting irregularities across the nation. Of course,
these happen every election, but only since 2000 has anyone actually
cared. Not that they are excusable; it's embarrassing that after all
this time, we still can't run a flawless election. The problem is that
you're going to see lefties obsessing over every possible,
theoretical extra vote for Bush in the "red" states while ignoring
every single irregularity that occurs in a state that went to Kerry.
Why don't we fix the system so we can stop worry about it at all?
Final stage: Acceptance? Maybe. For some, though, there will never be
acceptance. For nearly all of them, I think, the final stage will be
determination. A drive to win in 2008.
(Updated Tuesday, November 9, 2004 2:20 PM)